Within the royal purple exterior of their century-old home in Historic Springfield, Rick and Laura Minor have created a live-in museum of sorts, drawing upon relics of old Hollywood. Filled with rich textures, striking furnishings, and antique treasures, the couple’s space is capable of transporting one right off of the north Jacksonville street into a 1940s movie set.
Laura explains that the house was built in 1905 as a “twin home” along with the house next door, but was completely gutted and remodeled in 2005. When the Minors purchased it in 2010, they had a totally restored palette to build upon.
“We painted the exterior last year, we’ve painted every room in the house twice, and did the wallpaper ourselves,” Rick laments, pointing to the green banana leaf paper adorning the walls of the dining room.
Rick is an artist, a collector, and a design enthusiast. He’s also the director of the Karpeles Manuscript Museum near Klutho Park in Springfield. He admits that while Laura plays along, he’s responsible for curating the majority of décor and furnishings in the home. When we sat down with Rick, it became quite clear that the artist derives great pleasure from sharing this distinctive masterpiece.
In designing your home, where did you look for inspiration?
Well, to be honest it just comes out of me. It’s a lifetime of inspiration from various sources which are quite evident. I kind of like the Victorian Era, but I also like the 1930s and ‘40s—like old radios and things like that. We have modern things like cellphones and laptops, but we also have working old telephones, and we like to watch movies on a projector. I’m a collector, so a lot of these things have just been accumulated over my lifetime.
The first thing I noticed when I walked into the sitting room were these lush, ruby red velvet drapes, reminiscent of a classic film set. How did you find these?
I had to special order those. I kept looking and looking for drapes, so I ended up ordering these from a place in Los Angeles that makes them for movie theaters.
I have to ask about the tiny room packed full of vintage treasures. How did you come to collect all of these beautiful pieces?
You know, in Marrakech, they won’t let you leave without a rug. The bench is from a trip to Pakistan. I happened to rescue the piano from the Karpeles Manuscript Museum. I hope we never move or I might just say it comes with the house. It was quite an ordeal to move it in here.
What made you choose to live in Springfield, over all of the neighborhoods in Jacksonville?
The homes aren’t all cookie-cutter, and there are all these weird back alleys. I can walk through the neighborhood and find all sorts of strange buildings I’ve never even noticed before. Exploring is really fun around here. [Springfield] also has a diverse group of people, artists, intellectuals, etc. We’re kind of misfits ourselves. We don’t really fit in with the suburban crowd.